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VanderWiel Officially Named Sonora Police Chief

Sonora, CA — The Sonora City Council is removing the “Acting” label from Turu Vanderwiel’s title.

VanderWiel has been serving as Acting Police Chief since May of last year. The City Council met in closed session yesterday to discuss how to move forward. Mayor Connie Williams reports, “By a unanimous vote, the city council appointed Turu VanderWiel as the Police Chief of the City of Sonora effective immediately. A formal introduction will take place at the first meeting of June.”

VanderWiel, a Sonora High graduate, joined the Sonora PD in 2004. He also previously served as a deputy with the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office.

Sonora has been without a permanent chief since Mark Stinson retired in late 2016. Former Modesto Police Chief Michael Harden served as interim Police Chief during the first half of 2017 until VanderWiel was named Acting Chief.

Also last night, the city council voted in regular session, 5-0, to move forward with plans to place a measure on the November ballot related to a 15% tax placed on cannabis businesses in the city limits. The council also decided with a 5-0 vote, at this present time, to decline to weigh in on the state and federal dispute regarding sanctuary cities. Mayor Williams notes there was a desire to wait until more legal clarification is known in relation to state and federal lawsuits currently under review.